Our Subject is Addiction & Homelessness

October 3 & 4, 2023 – ONLINE

All registration for this conference IS CLOSED
The conference program – with access links and info about how to get CEs and CLEs – was emailed September 28 and October 2.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Keynote Speaker
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, now serving her third term in Congress representing Washington’s 7th District, the first South Asian American woman elected to the House, is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where she serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement. She also serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. She is the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which represents nearly 50% of the entire Democratic caucus; the Immigration Task Force for the Congressional Asian Pacific Asian Caucus; and a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus where she is the co-chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force.

Prior to serving in elected office, Congresswoman Jayapal spent twenty years working internationally and domestically in global public health and development and as an award-winning national advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights. She spent almost a decade working on global health and development for the international nonprofit organization, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), and spent 12 years as the founder and Executive Director of OneAmerica, the largest immigrant advocacy organization in Washington State and one of the largest in the country.

Richard Cho – HUD

Keynote Speaker
Richard Cho

Richard Cho serves as Senior Advisor for Housing and Services to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. In this role, he advises the Secretary and helps set HUD’s policy strategy for solving homelessness, coordinating health with housing, and meeting the housing needs of people with disabilities, older adults, and people involved in the criminal justice system. Richard brings to this role two decades of experience at the community, state, and federal levels building collaboration between the housing, health care, social services, and criminal justice sectors to address the housing and services needs of vulnerable Americans.



Rachel Post MSWW
Rachel Post MSWW

The Critical Need for a Substance Use Disorder System of Care

Rachel Post MSSW – Technical Assistance Collaborative

Rachel Post (she, her, hers) has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit agencies, federal, state, and local governments through direct service provision, training, evaluation, and policy support to address the housing, services, and support needs of people experiencing homelessness. At TAC, she manages complex consulting projects for federal government agencies, foundations, states, and jurisdictions. Ms. Post currently manages TAC’s work on behalf of SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Center. She currently oversees TAC’s Systems Alignment Innovation Hub. Prior to joining TAC, Rachel served as the Public Policy Director at Central City Concern. Other roles have included Director of Substance Treatment Services and Street Outreach and Director of Supportive Housing and Employment. She designed both Portland and Denver’s first Housing First Assertive Community Treatment programs for those experiencing chronic homelessness, one of which was a recipient of a SAMHSA Exemplary Program Award. She also designed the country’s first evidence-based supported employment program for people with primary SUDs exiting homelessness.

Eric Martin

Recovery Housing in Oregon

Eric Martin CADCIII, CRMII, CPS – Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon

Eric is Director of Policy and Legislation for the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon and a person in long term recovery from mental illness & addiction. Eric was an adjunct faculty member with the University of Oregon for 20 years and is a faculty mentor with Portland State University. Eric is Director of the MetroPlus Association of Addiction Peer Professionals, and is a board member/consultant with the NW Instituto Latino de Adicciones, the Miracles Club, Voices of Problem Gambling Recovery, OR-Recovers, and the 4th Dimension Youth Recovery Center.

Jamie Spinelli
Jamie Spinelli

Camp Management 101

Jamie SpinelliCity of Vancouver Homeless Services

Jamie Spinelli is a Certified Peer Counselor and an experienced outreach worker for individuals experiencing homelessness and living with mental illness, substance use disorder, and trauma. Prior to working for the City of Vancouver, she worked at a variety of nonprofits in Clark County, WA and co-founded a grassroots organization that provides advocacy, outreach, and hygiene services for individuals experiencing homelessness. Jamie currently serves as the Homeless Response Manager for the City of Vancouver, and her work includes overseeing the implementation of Vancouver’s Homeless Response Plan, managing the City’s Homelessness Assistance and Resources Team (HART), and making policy and funding recommendations to Vancouver City Council.

Simone Rede
Simone Rede

Cooperation Is Key: Auditors’ Approach to Addressing Portland’s Homelessness Crisis

Simone Rede is the Auditor of Portland, Oregon

Prior to her election, Auditor Rede was a principal management auditor at Metro regional government and a staff auditor at the Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division. Before that, she worked in Portland area alternative schools to improve access to higher education. Auditor Rede serves on the United States Government Accountability Office Domestic Working Group, which addresses accountability issues at all levels of government. Auditor Rede graduated from Portland Public Schools’ Grant High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Vassar College and a master’s degree in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and is a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Government Auditing Professional.

Jennifer McGuirk
Jennifer McGuirk

Jennifer McGuirk is the Multnomah County Auditor

Auditor McGuirk is a certified internal auditor and was a county staff auditor for more than six years before starting her term. Jennifer has served on the executive committee of the Pacific Northwest Intergovernmental Audit Forum and the Association of Local Government Auditors’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. McGuirk oversaw the County Auditor’s Office’s first-ever audit of county jail conditions, directed audits of the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, increased follow-ups on audit recommendations, and guided investigations of reports to the county’s fraud, waste, and abuse hotline. She established the office’s first community advisory committee and advocated for amendments to the County Charter to support government accountability.

At Portland State University, Jennifer earned a master’s degree in public administration, emphasizing local government administration and public involvement. She spent her graduate practicum working on public involvement with the Cornelius Committee, an all-volunteer organization in Cornelius that focused on making the community more accessible for families with children with disabilities. Disability rights issues are important to Jennifer because members of her extended family have lived experience with physical and intellectual/developmental disabilities, and Jennifer herself lives with mental health conditions.

Maria Foscarinis
Maria Foscarinis

Update on Martin v Boise

Maria FoscarinisColumbia Law School

Maria Foscarinis is founder and former executive director of the National Homelessness Law Center (formerly known as the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty), a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., that uses the power of the law to end and prevent homelessness in the United States and to defend the rights of unhoused persons. Foscarinis has advocated for solutions to homelessness at the national level since 1985. She is a primary architect of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and has led successful litigation to secure the legal rights of homeless persons.

Foscarinis is the recipient of the 2006 Public Interest Achievement Award from the Public Interest Law Foundation at Columbia Law School, the 2016 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize from Santa Clara University’s School of Law, and a Rockefeller Foundation Practitioner Residency in Bellagio, Italy (2021). She was named a Human Rights Hero by the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine. She serves on Columbia Law School’s Public Interest/Public Service Council.

Fact Sheet: The Top Five Ways Criminalization of Homelessness Harms Communities

Housing Not Handcuffs 2019, most recent national report surveying 187 cities across the country and analyzing trends in criminalization in since 2006

Martin v. Boise, 9th Circuit 2018 ruling, short summary

Jonson v. Grants Pass, press release summarizing 9th Circuit’s 2022 ruling reaffirming Martin

Martin v. Boise 9th Circuit decision denying petition for rehearing and reaffirming original decision (that decision begins at p. 16)

Infographic explaining Martin v. Boise

Chris Herring
Chris Herring

The Criminalization of Homelessness in San Francisco

Professor Chris Herring – University of California at Los Angeles

Chris Herring’s research focuses on poverty, homelessness, and housing in US cities. Chris’ research, writing, and teaching embraces the ideals of public sociology. He has co-directed studies with community organizers at the National Coalition on Homelessness and San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. He has also collaborated on research with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the Western Regional Advocacy Project, and ACORN. Chris regularly consults with county governments, legal aid groups, and serves as an expert witness on cases involving the criminalization of homelessness. Chris did his PhD at UC Berkeley Sociology, has a MA in Social Anthropology at Central European University, Budapest and a BA in Economics from Bard College. Before coming to UCLA, Chris completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard’s Inequality in America Initiative.

Chris’ writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Places, Cal Matters, the San Francisco Examiner, Progressive Planning Magazine, Shelterforce, the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and homeless street newspapers across the US and Canada. His research has been featured in the LA Times, NY Times, UK Guardian, Bloomberg’s City Lab, NPR, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle, and several other news outlets. His work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, City and Community, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, City, Teaching Sociology and book chapters in edited volumes of Anthropology, Urban Studies, Social Movements, Geography, and Community-Based Research.

Lena Miller
Lena Miller

The Role of the Re-Entry Community in the Fight to End Homelessness

Lena Miller, PsyD – Urban Alchemy

Dr. Lena Miller is a leading innovator in applying trauma-informed principles to public challenges such as homelessness, addiction, mental health and police response. Dr. Miller founded Urban Alchemy, a nonprofit organization with a mission to transform people and places through love and respect and to heal communities challenged by the intersection of extreme poverty, mental illness, addiction, and homelessness. As the Founder of Urban Alchemy, she has created the largest community-based public safety programs in the nation, operating in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin and Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Miller offers expertise in the fields of psychology, education and activism, which all inform Urban Alchemy’s programs that help municipalities implement sustainable, human-centered initiatives that have a demonstrated ability to move individuals off the streets and reduce crime in urban areas. Prior to founding Urban Alchemy, Dr. Miller was the Executive Director and founder of Hunters Point Family agency that provided programming in youth development, arts, education, entrepreneurial ventures, workforce development, violence prevention, workforce re-entry and environmental initiatives.

Dr. Miller has a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of San Francisco. She currently resides in San Francisco and is committed to bringing a peaceful and supportive presence, inviting communities to rebuild and restore a sense of pride and respect in traumatized spaces.

Jimmy Jones
Jimmy Jones

How the Rest of us Benefit from Oregon’s Unsheltered Homeless Crisis

Jimmy Jones – Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency

Jimmy Jones is the Executive Director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency.  He oversees more than 200 grants and a staff of over 500 in nine programs, including Weatherization, Energy, Home Youth and Resource Center, Nutrition First, Re-Entry Services, Child Care Resource and Referral, Head Start, and the ARCHES Project, in addition to the agency’s finance and administration.  Combined these projects provide more than $70,000,000 in services and resources to the Marion/Polk community, and served more than 60,000 clients in calendar year 2022.

Jimmy is a subject matter expert in chronic homelessness, and he played, in particular, a major role in the statewide introduction of evidence based practices and tools, and the development of a Coordinated Entry System for 28 of the 36 Oregon counties. Jimmy is an advocate for the homeless and anti-poverty work across the state of Oregon. He is the Vice President of the Community Action Partnership of Oregon and serves on various boards and commissions, including the housing committee of the Governor’s Racial Justice Council and the Oregon Taskforce on Homelessness and Racial Disparities. He has a Ph.D. in cultural and intellectual history from the University of Arkansas.

Jessica Gregg
Jessica Gregg

“Detox” Isn’t What You Think It Is

Jessica Gregg, MD – Fora Health

Dr. Jessica Gregg is Chief Medical Officer for Fora Health Treatment & Recovery and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her medical degree from the University of New Mexico, and her Doctorate in Medical Anthropology from Emory University. Dr. Gregg has worked in multiple clinical and administrative capacities in both non-profit and university settings. Immediately before joining Fora Health, she was the Associate Director of the Oregon Health and Science University Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program and developed Oregon Health and Science University’s HRBR clinic, a low-barrier addiction medicine clinic, providing on-demand care for patients with substance use disorders throughout the state of Oregon. Prior to that, Dr. Gregg was Senior Medical Director for Substance Use Services at Central City Concern in Portland, Oregon. She has published widely on the topic of addiction in both academic and lay publications.

Barriers to Recovery for People Who Are Homeless

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia

Juntos NW

Jose Garcia is from Colima, Mexico and has lived in Oregon for over 30 years.  He is the founder of Juntos, is a community-based organization helping Spanish-speaking professionals understand addiction.

Jose Garcia has over 20 years of experience in behavioral health. Mr. Garcia is the Past-President of the NW Instituto Latino, and works for the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon as both an Ethics Investigator and Spanish Language Certification Specialist.



Ricardo Verdeguez
Ricardo Verdeguez

Ricardo Verdeguez, CADCII QMHAII CRMII
NW Instituto Latino

Ricardo Verdeguez has years of experience as a leader in Oregon peer services. Ricardo developed and delivered Oregon’s first Spanish language 40-hour peer training program, and has been its lead trainer for six years. Ricardo is currently the program manager of peer & recovery center services at the NW Instituto Latino.

Both Ricardo Verdeguez and Jose Garcia are winners of the prestigious annual award from their peers and colleagues at the Homeless Alcohol and Drug Intervention Network.



Eric Holmes
Eric Holmes

Managing Homelessness within Martin v Boise

Eric Holmes – City of Vancouver, Washington

Eric has worked at all levels of government over the course of his career, from congressional offices in Washington DC to local governments in the metro area and throughout Clark County. For the last 20 years, he has held a range of public and private sector leadership positions, including the last 16 years with the city of Vancouver, 13 of which as Vancouver’s city manager. During this tenure, Vancouver has seen transformative growth through urbanization, a larger and more resilient economy and dramatic increase in community diversity.

Eric serves on the board of the Washington State City Manger’s Association, where in 2021 he was recognized for Excellence in Municipal Management. He also serves as a member of the WSU Vancouver Campus Advisory Council as well as on the Portland State University Local Government Advisory committee for the Public Administration degree program.

Nichole Rutherford – City of Coos Bay

Nichole Rutherford
Nichole Rutherford

Nichole is the newly appointed city manager for Coos Bay, following a short stint as assistant city manager in preparation for the role, and several positions within the finance department, including finance director. In the nine years she has been with the city, she has focused on transparency of government and better collaboration amongst staff and with community partners. This effort led to her being one of Coos Bay’s two appointed members to the Advisory Board for the Coos County-Coos Bay-North Bend Coordinated Homeless Response Office, a collaborative effort designated by the state legislature under HB 4123 which established eight pilot groups attempting to identify community solutions and responses to homeless crisis in Coos County.

She is currently the chair of the Advisory Board, who, though a collaborative community process involving citizens, service providers, those with lived experience, and municipal leaders, have developed a five-year strategic plan intending to guide the future work of the Coos County area focused on increasing capacity to meet the growing needs of the unhoused on the South Coast, while balancing citizen expectation and education. Ms. Rutherford is on the executive board of the South Coast Development Council, Inc. and a member of the CCD Business Development Corporation board of directors.

Ed Smith

Self-Run, Self-Supported Recovery Houses

Ed Smith – Oxford Houses of Oregon

Edward Smith is the Regional Manager for Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, and California for Oxford House Inc., a nonprofit network of 3,300 (internationally) self-help recovery homes. Ed is responsible for the opening of over 60 houses all throughout the state of Oregon. He is a man in long-term recovery who has been in recovery since 2003 and has worked with Oxford House since 2004. Ed is the recipient of the 2015 Oxford House Founders award. In Oxford House, Ed discovered the power of relational culture. Ed is an advocate for men and women in recovery. He has worked in several local and state organizations to remove the stigma of addiction and the ability for those to change their lives. Through his experience, Ed was able to not only sit on several committees involving multiple agencies and organizations, but he was also able to serve as a city councilor for a full-term affecting change in the community he lives in. Ed’s focus in life is to teach others that they have the ability to change their lives and be a part of the community. Ed continues to put as much energy into his recovery as he did into his addiction.

Andy Miller
Andy Miller

Portland’s History of Homelessness

Andy Miller – Our Just Future

Andy Miller has led Our Just Future (formerly known as Human Solutions) since 2015 and brings more than 25 years of experience and leadership advancing the cause of social justice in Oregon and beyond.

Before joining Our Just Future, Andy served as chief operating officer at Volunteers of America Oregon. While there, he oversaw agency operations, facilities, housing, strategic planning and program development for a high-impact social services agency serving the Portland region’s most vulnerable residents. Andy spent 13 years with the Portland Housing Bureau, where he provided executive leadership in a variety of positions for a bureau charged with solving the unmet housing needs of Portland residents. Andy was appointed to serve as the bureau’s interim director and navigated a complex merger with the Housing Department of Portland’s urban renewal agency.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell Law School, Andy began his career as a staff attorney for legal aid offices in Oregon and in New York, where he assisted hundreds of clients confronting the impacts of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence.

Erica C. Barnett
Erica C. Barnett

What Was “Compassion Seattle”?

Erica C. Barnett – Journalist

Erica C. Barnett is a reporter and editor in Seattle, with more than two decades’ experience covering local and state news and politics for magazines, newspapers, and online publications. In 2009, she co-founded PubliCola, an online publication that focuses on undercovered stories in the Seattle area, including in-depth coverage of the homelessness crisis. In 2020, her memoir, Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery was published; the book focuses on the experience of relapse as a part of recovery and the shortcomings of an addiction treatment system that prescribes a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction and has been slow to embrace harm reduction and relapse response in addition to relapse prevention. As a person who was fortunate to find recovery after many years of “failure,” she brings a personal perspective to her work covering people who are often stereotyped and dismissed. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Rabbi Ariel Stone – Congregation Shir Tikvah

Rab­bi Ariel Stone serves the inde­pen­dent Con­gre­ga­tion Shir Tik­vah of Port­land Ore­gon. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and earned a Doc­tor­al degree from Sper­tus Insti­tute of Jew­ish Stud­ies. She is an active member of the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance and the Mental Health Alliance.

From Kiev, Ukraine, to Israel, and in var­i­ous U.S. com­mu­ni­ties, Rab­bi Ariel Stone has shared Torah study, Tal­mud, and Jew­ish mys­ti­cism with enthu­si­as­tic stu­dents from all walks of life for 20 years.

Kevin Sabet
Kevin Sabet

Kevin Sabet – President and CEO of Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions

Author, consultant, former advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has researched and implemented drug policy for more than 20 years. In 2011 he stepped down as senior advisor in President Obama’s drug policy office, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration. He has been featured in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy and in 2013 published his first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana (Beaufort). He is the co-editor of Marijuana and Contemporary Health Issues, published by Oxford University Press, and dozens of publications.

He is the co-founder, with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, and President of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), the only national organization with a staff in Washington DC working exclusively on smart marijuana policy issues. He is also the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, and the author of numerous monographs and peer-reviewed journal articles. He has a doctorate from Oxford University and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

The Oregon Housing Conference is presented by the Mental Health Association of Portland in partnership with Street Roots and the Mental Health & Addiction Certification Board of Oregon.

The audience for the 2023 Oregon Housing Conference is national, knowledgeable, and keenly interested in the confluence of addiction and homelessness. We estimate the conference will be attended by 700 persons – clinicians and healthcare directors, housing developers and administrators, policy-makers, direct care workers, people with lived experience, students, advocates and community leaders, and funders.

The Conference provides partial scholarships for full time students and people with lived experience of mental illness and addiction, and deep discounts for public defenders.

Twelve hours of continuing education credit is available through the National Association of Social Workers of Oregon, the Mental Health & Addiction Certification Board of Oregon, the Oregon State Bar Association (5 Access to Justice and 7 General).

The Oregon Housing Conference welcomes people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact the conference coordinator. Requests should be made at least 10 days prior to the event.